Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber says that Oscar Piastri is going to need time to adapt to the sport during his rookie season.
Piastri will make his debut this year with McLaren, having been signed in place of the out-going Daniel Ricciardo, who has left following two difficult campaigns with the team.
Piastri drove for McLaren at the post-season test from Abu Dhabi last year, having been part of a contractual dispute with Alpine during the mid-point of the 2022 campaign.
Webber, who manages Piastri’s career, told Speedcafe that the Australian will bring a different atmosphere to McLaren compared to Ricciardo.
“He’s pretty different to Daniel, I think Oscar is pretty reserved,” Webber said. “I’ll say everyone’s got their own character.
“Sebastian [Vettel] as a World Champion is very different to what he was at the end of his career. Charles [Leclerc], Max [Verstappen], they’ve all got their own little idiosyncrasies and style on how they go about it.”
Piastri will be paired with Lando Norris for the upcoming season, who is entering his fifth season in F1.
But Webber asserts that Piastri will require time to adapt to the gruelling schedule, a sense that other drivers have had to experience in the past.
“With Oscar, he’s new to sport, he’s going to have his first season next year.
“It doesn’t matter what driver you are, obviously it takes time for you to get used to the sport, the juggernaut, the travel, the media.
“When Lando arrived he was a rabbit in a headlight, same for Daniel probably a little bit at HRT and Toro Rosso for a time.
“But Oscar is very reserved, incredibly professional, diligent – which we’re seeing in all the junior categories – and very economical with his words.”